Trap Door Theatre presents…



Written by: Slawomir Mrozek

Translated by: Ralph Manheim

Directed by: Beata Pilch

Thursday, April 24 – Saturday, May 24 ~ 2014 

 $20 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays; $25 on Saturdays and 2-for-1 Admission on Sundays

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 3PM (Starting May 4)



Cast: Trap Door ensemble members John Gray, Ann Sonneville, Holly Thomas Cerney; with Associate ensemble members Johnny Graff, Eddy Karch, Mike Mazzocca, Leslie Ruettiger, J. Keegan Siebken, Mike Steele


Mrozek’s Vatzlav is a spoof of the rights of humankind or a manual on what NOT to do with your freedom!

Mrozek’s Vatzlav welcomes the audience to an enchanted island of enTRAPment wherein a genius professor pimps his own daughter, Justice, and where the generous job-creating entrepreneurs are blood-sucking vampires and an old, blind guardian of the law, named Oedipus, proclaims that “In the dark, good is indistinguishable from evil.”


Slawomir Mrozek—recognized in Poland, a country rich with great poets and playwrights, as one of its greatest dramatists, Mrozek was born in 1930 in a small town near Kraków. He was a consistent critic of state communism from his earliest years as a journalist and cartoonist, and had to emigrate to France after he condemned Poland’s part in the Warsaw Pact’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. He also lived in Italy and Mexico and became a French citizen in the late 1970s. He moved back to Poland in the 1990s and returned to France at the beginning of the 21st century and died there, in Nice, France in August of 2013. His most famous play Tango (1965) had its world premiere in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1965 a Polish critic Jan Kott observed that while Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Witold Gombrowicz, Mrozek dramatic predecessors, were ahead of their time, Mrozek has arrived right on time both in Poland and in the West. Mro?ek, not unlike Václav Havel in Czechoslovakia, wrote political, critical allegories cloaked in absurdist comedy. Some perceived Mrozek as a kind of “Polish Ionesco.” His plays poke fun at contemporary mores and life in 20th century communist-dominated Poland. Periodically banned in Poland, his plays were performed in cities around the world including New York City where they were produced several times Off Broadway and at La MaMa Theatre Club.


Beata Pilch (Director) born in the Polish district of Chicago, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Acting from the United States International University in San Diego, California, and a Master’s Degree in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Pilch founded Chicago’s Trap Door Theatre in 1990 and still presides as its Artistic Director. She cultivated her life-long fascination with the avant-garde and obscure as a graduate student at the California Institute of the Arts. A Chicago native and frequent European traveler, she felt that a company that combined bold and physical European acting technique with rich European theatrical literature would provide Chicago’s entertainment scene with a unique and vibrant voice. Beata remains true to her original mission and continues to travel abroad every year to research up-and-coming directors, playwrights and stage technique in Berlin, Budapest, Krakow, Zakopane, Paris and other continental cities.


Assistant Director Gary Damico / Dramaturge Milan Pribisic / Lighting Design Richard Norwood / Sound Design Przemyslaw Bosak / Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski / Make-up Design / Zsofia Otvos / Stage Manager Meg Eaton / Fight Choreography Mathias Maloff / Graphic Design Michal Janicki /


To help celebrate Trap Door Theatre’s 20th Anniversary, Jane’s Restaurant is offering a complimentary glass of wine with purchase of your entree! Just show your ticket to your server and enjoy! Jane’s is located in the front of the Trap Door building at 1655 W. Cortland Ave.

 Janes is now offering a special menu to our patrons for only $30! Click here for more info!


 Vive la France Part Deux!

joshbellSave the Date! Saturday, June 7, 2014!


Please join us as we continue to celebrate Trap Door’s 20th anniversary season!


Join us for a special performance of our final show of the season, Dinner at Jane’s Restaurant, and a French cabaret by Old Timey!


Save the date for this special night which will also include mingling with the actors and meeting guest Parisian Director Valéry Warnotte. 


 Admission: $125 includes performance, dinner and after party




The Trap Door Theatre has been invited to Poland!!

Our greatest inspiration, the Teatr Witkacy in Zakopane, Poland has invited our ensemble to collaborate with Artistic Director Andrzej Dziuk on a very special Witkiewicz project that will play in Poland before we bring it back home for you.

 With both theaters being small in size, we need help raising the airfare for our group to travel there this summer. Please consider donating to make this dream come true.

 The Trap Door Theatre is a 501©3 not-for-profit organization and your donations are tax deductible.

For more information please email

Donations can be mailed to Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland Ave., Chicago, IL. 60622



Can’t make it to the show but want to support the theatre anyway? Leave your legacy behind! With your donation of $100, your name will be engraved on the seat of your choice at the Trap Door Theatre and reserved for you when you attend a show!

Donations can be mailed to:

Trap Door Theatre

1655 West Cortland Ave.

Chicago, IL 60622


 Trap Door Productions presents its first

Congratulations to Trap Door’s Nicole Wiesner for her recent
Jeff Award for Best Actress in First Ladies!

Congrats to Nicole Wiesner for bringing home the Jeff Award!

Congratulations to Trap Door's Nicole Wiesner for her recent Jeff Award for Best Actress in First Ladies!

Trap Door Theatre welcomes our new company members Alžan Pelesic, Meg Eaton, Meghan Lewis, Emily Lotspeich, Marzena Bukowska and Ann Sonneville

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